After several hours of wire wheeling, sanding, cleaning and painting various suspension and differential components I was finally ready to put everything back together again.
As mentioned in my previous post, all handbrake components were missing from the car. One of the first things I did was to attempt to reinstall the new brake components to the backing plate. Much easier when you can put the backing plate in a vise.
Now at this point I realized that my car came out of the factory with Dunlop brakes and converted to ATE at some point in time. The handbrake mechanism is a fairly simple one using 2 shoes held in place with retaining pins, a brutally strong spring and retaining pin holders (circled in red).
With great excitement I opened my package from Classic Alfa with all the handbrake components. Since the old retaining pin holders were pretty much destroyed, I had ordered 4 new ones. Unfortunately, the new ones did not fit in the indent of the backing plate. This is when I learned that there are 2 types of retaining pin holders; the early type which is no longer available and the later type readily available through the usual suppliers. I will let you guess which one I had….
I search every online supplier I could think of without success. I have a few friends around the world who are sitting on stashes of NOS or used parts. From Thailand, to South Africa, UK, France and Slovenia, none of my contacts had these.
At this point I had a few options; I could just use nuts & bolts to replace the holding pins and holders. Or, I could bring the backing plates to a machine shop and have them enlarge the indent to accommodate the later style holders. But no, I decided to make things a little more complicated and fabricate the replacement parts. Luckily I had not discarded the old parts and was even able to salvage 3 of the 4. Using thin stock, a buck made from a small bolt, progressively smaller sockets and lot’s of patience I was able to reproduce a workable copy.
Should you ever need one of these old style retaining pin holders I would be more than happy to fabricate a few more at 500$ a piece…. 😉
Finally, after breaking a few retaining pins and more church words, the handbrake assemblies were finally completed.
Ready to move on to wheel bearing, oil seal replacement and final reassembly in Part 3.